Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one inch of standing water, which means there are numerous places around a home that might support them. It is important to get rid of those possible breeding sites to avoid a yard full of biting insects.
Remove empty containers
Start by cleaning up any containers left lying around the yard. Put away buckets, pick up toys, and dump any pet dishes kept outside. If the dog must have a dish in the backyard, made sure the water is changed daily. Other containers might need to stay outside, as well. Punch holes in them so water drains.
Cut the grass and trim the bushes
During the day, mosquitoes like to rest in tall grass or among shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short deprives them of a resting place. Also, rake up any fallen leaves. An overturned leaf can hold enough water for a mosquito’s eggs, and also give them a place to wait out the day.
Check the rain gutters
They will often become plugged by leaves, blown branches, or other debris, and water will accumulate instead of draining out. Clean them out regularly, especially during the summer. If water is left standing in the gutters more than a week, mosquitoes will lay eggs in them.
Fill in any low-lying areas in the yard
These depressions can hold water after a rain or when the lawn is watered. Without proper drainage, the water will stay for days, allowing mosquitoes a chance to breed. Add dirt and sod, or install a drainage system.
Look after your pool
Keep the water in the pool clean and chlorinated. Drain and cover it when it’s not in use, and the same goes for wading or collapsible pools. Make sure any decorative items, such as birdbaths or ponds, get fresh water at least once a week. Stock the pond with fish that will eat mosquito larvae.
There is no guarantee that cleaning up possible breeding sites will keep mosquitoes away because they can still breed elsewhere and fly into the yard. But most mosquitoes feed within a few hundred yards of where they were hatched, so it will help reduce the number of biting mosquitoes in the immediate area.
Learn more about natural mosquito control around your home.